Malay/Printable version


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Countries where Malay is official (dark blue) and a recognized minority or trade language (light blue)

Malay is the language spoken natively by Malay people, who originated from the island of Sumatra, and is now an official language of Malaysia, Indonesia (where the official standard goes by the name of "Indonesian"), Singapore and Brunei. It was once written in an Arabic-based script called Jawi, but is now written in Latin script. The creators of this book hope you enjoy it and use it as a source for your studies, whether it is primary or secondary.

Why Should I learn Malay?


Learning Malay can not only be a fun thing to do, but you could then also communicate with Malay people. You could learn simple phrases, it would help you out with situations such as not knowing the area and be able to communicate with Malay people if you need help.

How this book is Designed


This book is designed to help you in your studies of Malay. It is divided into sections with Introduction, Alphabet, Pronunciation, Vowels, Consonants, Basics, Beginner Level, Intermediate Level, Advanced Level, Quick Phrases and other useful links. We hope you enjoy this book.

Please continue to next page Malay/Alphabet


The Malay alphabet consists of 26 letters from the Latin alphabet, like the English alphabet, and is based of the Latin script. There are two different types of script used in Malay. One being the currently used one, and the Jawi script.

Aa as in the word “ask”,

Bb same as in English

Cc like “tch”.

Dd same as in English.

Ee as in “elevated” and also as in "taken"

Ff same as in English

Gg as in "good" and never as in "gist"

Hh as in “Hotel”

Ii as in the word “ink” never as in the word “island”

Jj same as in English “job”

Kk same as in English.

Ll like “l” in “life”.

Mm same as in English

Nn same as in English

Oo same as in English “Old” never as in “Hot” which is pronounced somehow like {hat}

Pp same as in English

Qq same as in English.

Rr same as in English

Ss same as in English

Tt same as in English but not as sharp.

Uu as in the “put”, never as in the word “cup” or “university”

Vv same as in English

Ww same as in English

Xx as “kh”, sometimes as “ks”

Yy same as in English.

Zz same as in English.

dz as “th” in “that”

kh as “ch” in “loch”

Ua as “ua”

Ny as “ñ” in the “español”

Ng as “ng” in the “sing”

Ngg as in “singing girl”

Sy as in “sh”

The names of the letters are basically the same, except for Z, which is "zed".


A as in are

E as in person/pear

I as in ink

O as in or

U as in put

When an ‘a’ is at the end of the word, it can also be pronounced like an ‘ə’. Both ways are correct, but native speakers normally pronounce it as an ‘ə’. For example:

Ape (what) can be pronounced as ah-puh instead of ah-pah|

Due (two) can be pronounced as do-uh instead of do-ah|

Bahase (language) can be pronounced as bah-ha-suh instead of bah-ha-sah


Malay Language consonants are identical to English consonants ->BCDFGHJKLMNPQRSTVWXYZ


Here are some survival phrases in Malay language.

English Malay
Hello Helo!
Goodbye Jumpa lagi!
Where is the bathroom? Di manakah tandas?
What is your name? Apakah nama kamu?
Do you speak English? Adakah kamu cakap Bahasa Inggeris?
I'm from... Saya dari ...
How are you? Apa khabar?
I'm fine. Khabar baik.

Beginner/Lesson 1

Good morning - selamat pagi